Ballyliffin Golf started life in 1947 as a very ordinary 9 hole golf course on Ireland's most northerly point. It wasn't until 1973 that the new Eddie Hackett, Charles Lawrie & Frank Pennick links opened on roughly the same area, and it was recognised as pretty handy links course. In 1993 after a brief visit Nick Faldo took on the job of further renovation- he added revetted bunkers, some longer tees, and enlarged two greens. From that time The Old Links has been recognised as one of THE classic links courses, and has subsequently hosted The Irish Seniors Open.
While The Glashedy Links heads into larger dunes, the Old Links is content to meander though lower lying dunesland, heading off in all directions. It is a classic links course with the significant rumple through the fairways. A good drive down the middle of a hole can bounce around like a pinball, and is most unlikely to leave you with a level stance for your approach.
This traditional approach differs from The Glashedy Links where the fairways have a comparitively subdued and gently rolling terrain.
The Old Links really is a throwback to the traditional links courses from yesteryear- but maintained like a modern course.
Notable holes include:
- the par 3 fifth hole called the Tank- a long elevated green set between two dunes (see pic top of page)
- the short par 4 tenth hole called The Castles defended by fairway and greenside bunkers down the right- and with wind from the left!
- the par 5 closing hole called Callaghan's Straid which requires you to tack right and then left before attacking a green set beneath the clubhouse windows
The Travelling Golfer can tailor a golf trip to Ireland to suit your group. For itinerary suggestions please see Destinations: Hidden Gems of Ireland's North West
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